Just in time for Christmas, shelves can legally be stocked with edible cannabis products, including beverages and extracts. Though regulations come into effect on October 17, the products won’t be available for purchase until two months later.
Though dried cannabis became legal for recreational use last October, these new regulations give authorized distributors and retailers the opportunity to legally sell these new classes of cannabis products.
According to a report by Deloitte, 50 per cent of those intending to consume edibles are looking for it in the form of cookies, brownies, or chocolate and plan to consume it at least once every three months.
Canadians raised concern about edible cannabis and its consumption by children and teens, but Health Canada maintains that strict regulations—including packaging and labelling requirements—will limit the appeal of these products to minors. Products must be contained in child-resistant and child-proof packaging, must contain no more than 10 mg of THC per single serving, and have to be individually packaged, which is an “environmental nightmare,” according to one British Columbia–based cannabis distributor who spoke to CBC. Packaging must also include a warning label.
The federal government has committed more than $100 million over six years for public education, awareness, and surveillance. Provinces and territories have further jurisdiction to address issues of local concern, such as a higher minimum age or more restrictions on possession. The website growthop.com reports that the Quebec government “has signalled its intent to heavily restrict the products and dosages permitted” in edibles and beverages containing THC. Manitoba, the site reports, is considering changes its provincial laws to ban public consumption of cannabis in all forms, including edibles. Other provinces and territories are weighing whether they will impose local regulations in addition to those of the federal government.
Before you indulge, ensure you’re aware of and following local laws and regulations.